Monday, February 2, 2009

What do Punxsatawny Phil, Abe Lincoln, Sea Slugs, My brother, and Random Acts of Kindness All Have in Common?


February is a quirky little month. Its a short month, only 28 days on account of our completely fictionally derived uneven division of the months, which means ol' Feb has to work harder. Plus it is spelled weird. Feb RU ary. If you are a hick then you say Febry or Feb-berry.

In the tundra it means that we are picking up 5 minutes 5 seconds of sunlight a day. By this time next week our day will be 35 and a half minutes longer.

Saturday Was the Reindeer Slaughter. I was left out of this annual even last year when my principal forgot to give me a ride out to see the show. This year they announced it on the VHF radio (of which I have none) and I again was left out of this truly important cultural subsistence activity. It just goes to show how I have no friends. It really pissed me off because all those poor animal's carcasses are going to waste (eaten by overpopulated foxes) and I could have salvaged some of their organs for science class dissection. No one ever thinks of science man.

Yesterday was the SuperBowl. I apparently cared so little about it that I completely forgot to watch it and instead worked at school. Who won? Oh thats right I don't give a flying rats ass. I really don't care about the NFL. I wish I could have seen the Boss perform at half time though...was that good? Were there any good commercials. I don't really feel that bad about missing it thoLinkugh.

Today is Groundhogs Day. Punxsatawny Phil Indeed had some sobering news for us today:

Phil's official forecast as read February 2nd, 2009 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:

Hear Ye Hear Ye
On Gobbler's Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009
Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators
Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper
And greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths
After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,
Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time
And a bright sky above me
Showed my shadow beside me.
So 6 more weeks of winter it will be.

Rats I was hoping it would be shorter rather than longer, thanks for nothing PHIL!

Tomorrow is Alisha's Birthday. You go girl, go on with your bad self!

February 2nd-6th is the first annual Nuniwarmiut School PE Tournament of Champions Competition. The "Native Tigers" defeated their opponents the "Mean Machine" in a half an hour (three 10 min periods with water breaks) Ultimate Indoor Frisbee DEATH MATCH. It was all tied up going into the 3rd period when the Mean Machine finally broke down from exhaustion and lost 13-11. Luckily tomorrow they are favored in the Indoor Soccer Match with newly instituted "Penalty Box" rules creating power play opportunities. Post Game analysis tomorrow.

February 3rd is my cousin Maddie's Birthday. Sorry I won't be there to celebrate in person, but we'll make up the time this summer. Happy Birthday!

February 12th is Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln's Birthday (born the same year too). One man founded the fundamental idea that would change how scientist looked at the living world and the other man stood up and changed the way Americans looked at each other. Two men, born on the same day, evolution and equity, how cool.

February 13-20th is "Random Acts of Kindness Week" across the world. Since I'll be in Anchorage that week for the Alaska Special Educators Conference we are going to do it a week early here at Nuniwarmiut School. The kids are really excited to do little "nice things" for people anonymously.

February 14th is Valentines Day, one of my least favorite Holidays of all time. A completely fabricated commercial holiday where you are supposed to have someone to give chocolate, roses and a colorful sentimental card to (or be horribly lonely and ashamed if you don't have someone to do that for). In college we used to hold "F**K Valentines Day" Parties where only single people who hated the day could come.

February 15th is the anniversary of my Grandpa and Grandma Wicks. Even though they've both passed on, they live in my heart and actions everyday.

February 17th is my brother's birthday. He will be turning 23 (not 22 as I had previously said, he is 22 now was what I was thinking) all by his lonesome in the UK. God I wish I was 22 again. One of his birthday's long ago our family dog died, that was a sad one. I will tell some essential Hal stories on this particular day.

February 26th is Syd's Birthday. Woop woop!

Now that I've added a bunch of things you all need to relax if I forgot something. You've effectively scared me off from doing this ever again!

February is a bizarre month. It starts with a rodent prophet and ends abruptly sometimes with a giant leap.

In honor of mr. darwin her is some interesting evolutionary science news recently published this month. Although many/most of his theories have been tweaked, improved, discredited and or analyzed they still provided the basis for a sort of drive to understand just how the living world got so weird. Thanks buddy:

Texas A&M scientist may have discovered the first photosynthesizing animal, Elysia chlorotica, a sea slug that possesses at least one gene necessary for photosynthesis and can use chlorplast organelles from algae it ingests to photosynthesize itself for months on end. This is really interesting because it opens a lot of doors for the possibilities of using the sunlight to create food for us animal folks.

The University of Munich has analyzed the the genes of over 147 species of Gourds and suggested that they originated in Asia and floated to the rest of the world through the ocean multiple times recolonizing S. America, Australia, Madagascar (Africa), as many as 13 times over the last 60 million years. GO GOURDS!

Hope you enjoyed this little synopsis of February. I'll try to make one each month if I can remember.


Susan Iverson said...

Nice post but your brother is going to be 23 not 22! He will be all by his lonesome with respect to family but he seems to have lots of nice people around him. Did you know Grandma and Grandpa Wicks were married on February 15th and it is Maddie's birthday on the 3rd. In our family when I was growing up, we always just hoped to make it through February because it seemed everything bad happened this month. Your brother being born this month changed that of course.

alisha said...

I didnt know Darwin birthday was in Feb, let alone the same day as Abe's...uh...

You forgot one very important birthday...UM...MINE! It's tomorrow! OUr science starter today asked my students how old I would be kid said 42! geez! Most kids though guessed in the 28-34 range...I'll be 29! Gasp! that means next year I'll be 30!

Mr. Kale Iverson said...


last time i ever do this kind of post. how am i supposed to know all these things? I'm a self absorbed bastard. Sorry.

Hal Iverson said...

great post kale! Random acts of kindness week!!! I am stoked for that...I will have to create a fun lesson for my students..hmm

Syd said...

The last thing I think when I read this post it that you are a self obsorbed bastard...silly.

You RULE actually for giving Febry shout outs! Thanks (WOOHOO)!

BUT you forgot:
Feb 8th- Boy Scout Day (how could you forget!?)
Feb 16th- Presidents Day
Feb 24th- Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras
---Also somewhere in there is The Kwakiutl Winter Ceremony: when Native-Americans acknowledge and reaffirm their connection with the supernatural world.

(I just looked all these up to tease you so you better be smiling, if not I'm sorry and I owe you a soda.)

Erin said...

When is Reindeer Festival? I do like reindeer. Perhaps that might be a good excuse to buy an overpriced ticket to your neck of the woods.

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